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Relevance assessment as an everyday experience

Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson

Sparking Synergies: Bringing Research and Practice Together @ ASIST '05 (ASIS&T 2005)
Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, October 28 - November 2, 2005


Despite the growing appreciation of the dynamism of the concept of relevance, there is still a tendency to relegate it to the domain of information retrieval. In doing so, we dilute its potency as a human practice and lose out on the rich connections that are afforded by seeing relevance assessment as a critical element of human communication beyond those that are mediated by information retrieval systems. The poster presents analysis of observations of relevance judgments collected in a longitudinal ethnographic study. The table presented in the short paper will be expanded in the poster version of the paper to illustrate the variability and richness of the ways that informants used representations of information resources to make relevance judgments. This analysis suggests that relevance judgments are drivers of search and research processes. There is much talk about the need to more fully integrate research in the areas of information retrieval and information seeking behaviour. This poster suggests that, as a human practice at the heart of communication and information behaviour, relevance assessments offer one bridge for this integration.

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